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India


Hema Malini to stage special dance show on 'Ganga' during PBD celebrations

Hema Malini to stage special dance show on 'Ganga' during PBD celebrations

New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) The government of India will this year host the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi from January 21-23.

BJP MP and noted actress Hema Malini will stage a special dance programme based on the theme 'Ganga' during this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) celebration, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh said here on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the mega annual event on the second day of the celebration on January 22, Gen Singh told reporters here. "Hema Malini will stage her special programme on the theme 'Ganga' at the ghats of river Ganga on the same day evening".

The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas - organised first in 2003 - is celebrated on January 9 every year.

But this year the dates have been shifted to the third week of January as there were overwhelming demands from the overseas Indians to also take part in the Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj and also the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi on January 26.

The programme initiated by the erstwhile Vajpayee government aims to to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community and reconnect them with their roots and the government.

In this year's celebrations, two prominent names of Indian origin Himanshu Gulati, a lawmaker from Parliament in Norway and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi will also take part in the seminars to be organsied during the three-day celebrations, Gen Singh said.

Indian diaspora attending the mega event will this year have the special opportunity to participate in Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj on January 24 and attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26.

Uttar Pradesh will be the partner state for the event and a novel feature this year will be the concept of 'Varanasi hospitality' under which local people will host the Indians living abroad at their homes as "family guests".

The chief guest for that event will be Mauritius Prime Minister Praveen Jugnauth.

On the third day of the event, President Ram Nath Kovind will award the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman to 30 award winners chosen by a special panel headed by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

Two chief ministers -- Uttarakhand's Trivendra Singh Rawat and Haryana's Manohar Lal Khattar -- have confirmed their participation.

The Minister said the main function hall at the venue has been named 'Atal Bihari Sabhaghar' as a mark of tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

UNI DEVN AR 2140

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